Impunity - Argentina, Haiti and Dominican Republic

WHEREAS three of the alleged perpetrators of the January 25, 1997, murder of news photographer José Luis Cabezas could be released from custody due to a more than three years’ delay in the Buenos Aires Provincial Court of Cassation reaching a verdict WHEREAS in Haiti the murders of journalists Jean Leopold Dominique on April 3, 2000, Brignol Lindor on November 3, 2001, and Gerard Denoze on December 15, 2001, remain unsolved and serious anomalies and obstacles are noted in the application of justice WHEREAS the director of Radio Haiti-Inter, Michèlle Montás, Jean Leopold Dominique’s widow, was the object of a murder attempt outside her home on December 25 in which her bodyguard was killed and the radio station’s operations have been suspended indefinitely as a result of death threats and attacks to which the station’s reporters have been subjected WHEREAS the investigation into the May 1994 disappearance of columnist Narciso Pinales González in the Dominican Republic remains stalled and unsolved WHEREAS Principle 4 of the Declaration of Chapultepec holds that “freedom of expression and of the press are severely limited by murder, terrorism, kidnapping, pressure, intimidation, the unjust imprisonment of journalists, the destruction of facilities, violence of any kind and impunity for perpetrators. Such acts must be investigated promptly and punished harshly” THE IAPA MIDYEAR MEETING RESOLVES to urge the government of Argentina to demand a prompt ruling by that court, so as to prevent the guilty from going unpunished in a case of enormous impact in the press world in particular and among the public in general to demand that the government of Haiti complies with its duty to bring to justice and punish those responsible for the murder of journalists, so as to put an end to crimes against freedom of the press and to put the Haitian people on the road to democracy to call upon President Jean Bertrand Aristide to take the appropriate steps to punish those who resort to force to intimidate, assault and impede the free operation of the independent media to urge the government of the Dominican Republic to reopen and follow up the case in order to identify those responsible for the crime and bring them to justice.